posted on Mar, 15 2010 @ 11:52 AM
Originally posted by AstroEngineer
I certainly understand and encourage people's skepticism. Though I suppose as an aside I should say that I think most people misunderstand
skepticism. A true skeptic (as a true scientist) reserves judgment in the absence of sufficiently conclusive data.
Most people who self identify as skeptics are (as I was, and likely still am in ways I don't realize) just passing unfounded negative judgments based
on beliefs (not facts).
And that's fine, it's a very functional way to be. It's far easier for the human brain to do that than for it to truly take no position. I am
still trying to learn the art of being judgment-less (again, only where there is insufficient data, to be so otherwise is to be a fool)...
Welcome John, you seem to have a better grasp on what it means to be a skeptic than most.
I hope that you are able to share some information with us - I am always happy to receive new information.
In some ways I agree with what you say here John - however your last conclusion I strongly disagree with.
The art of keeping an open mind should not stop simply because we think we have enough data to form a belief.
Forming a belief is lazy and destructive to developing an understanding - with a belief we substitute a model for everything we don't actually know,
this is ok - but also we resist any data that conflicts with that model.
There is no such thing as enough data to form a belief - a belief is a way to stop thinking and asking questions, it is a way to conform to the group
of the single valid result.
The more data we get, and the more insistently that data infers a particular model - then the higher degree of certainty we might assume of the
underlying model - but the moment we believe it completely - is the moment we shut down all other possibilities.
[edit on 15-3-2010 by Amagnon]